Title: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You
Series: Gallagher Girls (Book #1)
Author: Ally Carter
Summary: The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls school, that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE, the latest in chemical warfare in science; and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes computer class. So in truth, Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses, but its really a school for spies. Cammie Morgan is a second generation Gallagher Girl, and by her sophomore year she’s already fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti.) But the one thing the Gallagher Academy hasn’t prepared her for is what to do when she falls for an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through a mall without his ever being the wiser, but can she have a regular relationship with a regular boy who can never know the truth about her? Cammie may be an elite spy in training, but in her sophomore year, she’s beginning her most dangerous mission; she’s falling in love.
Review: While I understand that this book may not be “quality” literature, it sure blows almost everything else out of the water in terms of actually making you happy by reading it. The narration of Cammie Morgan keeps you entertained all the way through, sounds perfectly realistic for a fifteen-year-old girl, and can seriously make you laugh out loud (I did on several occasions, having to stop and explain to my mother what in the world was so funny). And that’s only one good part about the book; the plot is actually well thought out, always moving forward, and finally an ending to a first book that, despite it’s not-as-happy-as-it-could-be ending, didn’t make me want to pull my hair out in frustration! I wanted the next book straight away, but more in a “I can’t wait to keep reading because I’m having so much fun!” rather than the usual “I’m going to die if I don’t find out what happens right now!” way!
What I Liked: Spoilers!
- Ally Carter just makes you laugh. Her writing is perfectly executed and while it’s not exactly “mature” it doesn’t come off as immature, which is a really great accomplishment when writing in this style. Usually writers who try to sound sarcastic, funny, “realistic”, or teenage girl-ish in the slightest end up sounding like kids trying to write a book, and the humor almost ruins the writing in a sense. Carter has none of that. It’s perfectly balanced, and you can tell that through all the witty one-liners and the natural voice of Cammie that Carter has some serious talent. I envy anybody who can write a first person, hilarious narrative without butchering the writing itself. Part of what makes it so enjoyable is that (and maybe I’m just strange), but I know that when I was fifteen, I totally said things like that to my friends. The dialogue (inner and outer) was just so real and you think to yourself, ‘We really do say things like that!’ It was so refreshing; so often do you see writers being too serious and you can’t laugh at all, or the “humor” gets in the way of the real writing and it flops in an attempt to be funny. Carter has her style nailed.
- I thoroughly enjoyed all the characters, which generally doesn’t happen. Even Josh’s obnoxious friend, Dillon, had his moments where you had to laugh at him. They all seemed well-rounded and realistic, and had developed relationships. While Cammie and Josh might not have had a “happily ever after”, I think I prefer it that way, since how often is it that a fifteen-year-old girl’s first love is long-lasting? It was an accurate description of how short-lived these flames might be, especially in someone so young, and not built up or made to be something unrealistic for the sake of it being “cute”.
What I Didn’t Like:
- Josh was sometimes a little “too” *insert thing here* for my taste. I don’t want to say “too perfect”, because he wasn’t perfect; but I can’t exactly put my finger on it. One thing in particular that bothered me was the way he yelled at Cammie for lying to him about going to the Gallagher Academy. Seriously, everybody can tell what those guys think about the Gallagher Girls; I probably would have lied, especially seeing Dillon in action, trying to take poor Anna down. I felt like that should have been perfectly understandable (although I don’t know why Cammie lied about the other stuff, but maybe that’s because I’m not a spy?) and I don’t feel like he had place to get angry at her for hiding it. I understand that the reason I give for lying isn’t exactly the same one Cammie had in mind, but if Josh were so “perfect”, as Cammie describes, then this was a little overreaction for me.
Overall: If you’re looking for a good time, this is the book for you! And I mean, we all want to smile sometimes, right? Yeah, the dialogue of a fifteen-year-old girl is sometimes a little immature, and the punctuation/grammar might get on your nerves sometimes (TOO MANY CAPITALS, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, CARTER), but it’s so worth it. I look forward to getting to the rest of this series as soon as possible and continuing Cammie’s journey! Carter, you’ve got a real gem in this one!